Ukraine must step forward to save its citizens

Published : Tuesday, 15 March, 2022 at 12:00 AM

The Russia-Ukraine war has entered into its 20th day. Though the Western media is coming up with thousands of reports of strong resilience from the Ukrainian forces with the West-supplied weapons, the pictures visible are quite different. Russian forces are taking control of Ukrainian cities one after another despite using only their partial forces. The Russian forces have not yet acted brutally as they are allowing the civilians to leave the war zones while the Western allies of Ukraine are trying to take advantage of Ukraine’s misery. From what we have seen till now, it is only Ukraine, who must step forward to save its citizens from the devastating consequences of the war.

From what we have understood so far, growing Western influence over the closest neighbor is the reason Russia invaded Ukraine. The current conflict in Ukraine is a hybrid proxy war between the ex-Soviet power, Russia, and the Western allied forces which are led by the United States. It is fought with Special Forces, drones, and even social media campaigns of disinformation, or fake news, that only create chaos and kindle up debates among people worldwide that do not always understand the reality of the situation.

Yet, if one seeks to understand the current situation one must understand the strategic history of the Soviet or Russian conflict with the West. There are some strategic logics behind the Russian attack along with humanitarian aspects of warfare, which cannot be easily justified within any conflict. Russia might need to halt its forces but, simultaneously, the West must stop its economic and military pressure on Russia.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine intensified when Ukraine opted to join NATO and European Union. Russia saw that as a threat as that would increase the West’s influence in the Russia’s backyard. Moreover, it is important for Russia to have influence over Ukraine due to trade port issues. Additionally, if Ukraine joins NATO, that will increase the chance of other previously USSR countries to join NATO and hence, Russia could have been surrounded by Western influences. Increasing pressure from the West, especially the USA actually forced Russia to put leash on Ukraine.

The current conflict in Ukraine is a gamble for both sides. The decision to invade and attack Ukraine and Ukrainians is a dangerous one for Russian President Vladimir Putin. As both nations identify themselves as brothers or as nations with similar values at the very least, Moscow risks that not only citizens but also government officials, military commanders and soldiers will refuse fighting in Ukraine as many Russians have Ukrainian relatives.

On the other hand, the Western refusal to publicly deny Ukraine’s possible future membership in NATO or in the European Union is a dangerous one as it is too premature and can lead to an escalation between European and NATO members and Russia, an escalation that will invoke article five – that an attack on one ally is an attack on all. This situation can lead to the largest military conflict since the Second World War and even to nuclear warfare. Thus, one must hope that, in case the conflict escalates, NATO and article 5 will dissolve in light of the danger for the future of humanity.

In the current Ukrainian matter, strategically speaking, Russia is not an agent but a reagent. One could also assume that if the West had not pushed over Ukraine, attempting to recruit it to NATO or to the European Union, Russia would not have invaded Ukraine. Indeed, Liberalism and Democracy are important concepts and Ukrainians’ voices must be heard; and voices are many, of liberals, conservatives, and people in between.

Moreover, while Russia attempts to preserve or boost its global influence, it is the United States that also attempts to preserve its global domination in light of the fact that this hegemony is also being questioned by China. Russia must stop its intervention in Ukraine. Yet, in the current state of affairs, it is the United States and the West who must guarantee that Ukraine will be a neutral buffer zone just as it was the United States that demanded from the Soviet Union to withdraw its nuclear missiles from its backyard, Cuba, in October 1962.

From the very beginning of the Russian invasion, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, went underground and appeared on social media posts as a soldier battling for the country. His wife also appeared the same. He said that, he and his family is the target of Russia and despite that, he will not leave his country and will fight till the end. The approach of the President Zelenskyy and his political affiliates were like soldiers, even when they attended talks with the Russian counterparts. This actually cancels out the possibility of peace.

Already several thousands of lives are lost due to this war. While Russia has been trying hard to limit civilian casualty, Ukraine is trying to force its citizens to participate in this war. They have restricted men from 18 to 60 to leave the country and to fight the war while it is impossible to survive without food or power. Zelenskyy must remember that, people are not willing to fight for his Western greed. It is inhuman to forcibly take away the men from the beloved ones – wife, mother, sisters and children. A child, who will see his father detained and separated to participate in this war, cannot have a proper nurturing and he may become an anti-social person in the future.

Russia is focusing on removing the civilians so that they can take forceful control of the cities. Already several cities are under Russian control. Though the Western media is continuously claiming strong resistance from the Ukrainian force, even they could not provide any news of Ukrainian win at any part. In the meantime, the West is focusing on selling or supplying arms to the Ukraine though they are not at all willing to participate in this war to help Ukraine.

The role of international media is horrific. While they remained silent in Western invasion in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and many other countries, they are again serving their masters by providing false information on the Ukraine war. Countries like Russia and China should focus on creating large international media houses in the future so that, they can show their side of the story too.

Biden administration in US has a great role to play to solicit the issues between Russia and Ukraine. Rather than supplying arms to Ukraine or putting sanctions on Russia, they should focus on bringing peace in Ukraine. Former US President Donald Trump recently said that, his personality during his reign did not allow any war to take place. We want similar personality from Joe Biden. The world is now in a supremacy war between the US and China as China is economically getting stronger. A good role in bringing peace between Ukraine and Russia will enhance supremacy of the USA. We are hopeful that Biden will truly portray a strong leadership in this matter.

President Zelenskyy, himself, said that he does not want to join NATO anymore as his dream of NATO to be on his side during his need was evaporated. Regarding Taking the Ukrainian refugees, his ally US’s Vice President Kamala Harris recently laughed and pointed the finger to Poland, making it clear that US will not bear any burden. Russia never said that, they want to occupy Ukraine. Rather they want a Western influence-free government in Ukraine. Ukrainian President must realize that, he cannot win this war. Russia has not used even half of its might till now and is showing respect to the humanity. But that will not sustain for long and bloodshed will be heavier soon. Hence, it is necessary that Zelenskyy acts now to save Ukrainian people.

Understanding the harsh reality, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy should immediately declare his resignation and call for new leadership. Otherwise, Russia will place new leadership by force. However, we interpret the situation the misery of Ukrainian people can only be cast away by the Ukrainian leadership. We hope, Zelenskyy and his cabinet members realize it soon so that Ukrainian people can come out of this war.
The writer is Chief Editor at Mohammadi News Agency (MNA), Editor at Kishore Bangla and Chief Patron, Bangabandhu Shishu Kishore Mela

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